Matthew, Annu P
Art & Art History
Photography; Feminism; Sexual Assault
One in four women face sexual abuse before the age of eighteen. One in five women are survivors of rape. With college campus rape allegations coming forward and being reported in mainstream and social media, the conversation about sexual assault and rape is extremely relevant and college students are taking a stand.
Emma Sulkowicz, a senior at Colombia University, took a firm stand when she developed a performance piece where she carried around the dorm room mattress, which she was raped on. Her story made it’s way to the mainstream media, including the cover of New York magazine. Her protest of Colombia University’s handling of the incident sparked even White House attention and the “It’s On Us” campaign was launched to bring awareness to rape prevention.
Many women are now coming together to not only discuss their experiences and trauma, but their strategies for prevention. The use of self defense techniques is one method of prevention recommended to women by women. My series of photographic murals explores this by showing what women carry on a daily basis, on their person, in their purses and on their key chains to protect themselves from an attack. My murals will be printed with photos that are larger than life to show the large scale of this problem and contrast the concealed way that women are addressing it. Harsh lighting will highlight the objects to keep the focus on the objects and the way they are being used.
The goal of this project is to not only bring awareness and highlight how every day can be used to protect oneself, but also inform of other objects and techniques that can be used to protect a person in the event of an attack.